ily’s dynamics. I am incredibly fortunate to have a
husband of 44 years, who has stuck by me “for better or for worse.” He now does whatever I can’t do.
Annoyingly enough, he does the cooking, shopping
and many other things better than I ever did. My
disabilities made my sons self-sufficient at an early
age and more sensitive to the problems of others.
Now that I am a grandmother I so want to be like
their other grandmother—able to bend down to
pick them up, to run and play with them. I’ve had
to find other ways to show my love. My three-year-old granddaughter enjoys painting with me—
we use cotton swabs as paint brushes for easy clean
up. Both grandchildren like to take rides on my
lap when I’m using the wheelchair.
counseling with a psychologist and talking with
others who have MS. A daily dose of laughter, from
movies, books, and especially my husband’s sense of
humor, may be the best remedy of all.
My mother and my two immigrant grandmothers
were all strong, stubborn women who dealt with
life’s hardships without complaints. When I see
people with worse illnesses, I remember that I need
to stop concentrating on the “what ifs.” One of my
grandmothers used to say that if you sat in a circle
with others and you all put your troubles in a bag in
the center, you would draw out your own. I agree.
My life is not what I envisioned when I was 20,
but it is full.
Currently, I use a rolling walker on good days and a
wheelchair when fatigue, weather or long distances
make it necessary. I use the city’s paratransit van to
take me many places. What a relief not to have to
ask friends or family to drive me every time. Adjusting to living with less sight is an ongoing process,
but there is help available. Reading, always my
passion, I now do using large print books, a CCTV
magnifier or listening to recorded books. This allows
me to continue enjoying being part of a book club.
Type “Joyce Render Cohen” into our search box and visit
some of the articles she has contributed, with the help of
her sisters, Gayle Render Dinerstein and Evelyn Render Katz.
I’ve written many articles for Society publications.
With my sister Evelyn Katz, who is a low vision OT
specialist, I wrote Momentum’s Low Vision Alert
for three years. (The columns are available online.)
She and I also give talks on living with low vision
and I volunteer at the Weigel Williamson Low
Vision Rehabilitation Center where she works. All
of these things have been rewarding and have kept
me from thinking about my aches and fears.
by Jack Luebeck
The author has lived with MS for
22 years. His experience illustrates
how different MS can be from
person to person.
Pain was the first symptom that sent me to a
neurologist and is still my constant companion.
However, I didn’t like the sleepy fog I felt with pain
medication. I’ve found that staying busy works
best for me. When my mind is occupied, it doesn’t
focus on the pain. I’ve also found help in short-term
I was diagnosed in 1989, at the age of 46. I had
been an upper-level sales and marketing executive
for several well-known computer companies and
at that time I was general manager for a multinational company. I traveled one third of the time.
Life was very good.